Jets Steal Familiar Face From Playoff Contender out of Desperation

Kai Nacua

Getty A slew of Baltimore Ravens making a tackle attempt on an Indianapolis Colts playmaker.

The New York Jets are in absolute desperation mode.

Quite frankly the entire NFL is feeling the harsh effects of the COVID pandemic. On Wednesday a total of 40 players were placed on the COVID list all due to a positive test, per Field Yates.

Gang Green specifically has gotten hit specifically hard with over 18 players on the COVID list and counting.

With all of that unrest, the Jets had to make a move.

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Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

On Thursday afternoon the Jets stole defensive back Kai Nacua off of the San Francisco 49ers practice squad.

The 26-year-old originally came into the league as an undrafted free agent out of BYU back in 2017.

Since then Nacua has played for five different NFL franchises including the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, and most recently on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad.

In that span, Nacua has played in 22 games and has started in three of those contests. Although it is fair to say he is super inexperienced with only 217 defensive snaps under his belt.

The good news is Nacua has experience playing under Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh last season when he was the defensive coordinator in 2020 with the 49ers. So at the very least, it should be a quick transition in terms of scheme familiarity which should help accelerate things.

Who the Heck Is Left?

On Thursday Jets’ defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich candidly admitted he has no idea who will be starting at safety on Sunday. Well, that makes two of us coach.

Ashtyn Davis and Sharrod Neasman were both placed on the COVID list. Elijah Riley is in the middle of concussion protocol after a very scary injury versus the Miami Dolphins.

That leaves just two players healthy and ready to go at safety in the newly acquired Nacua and veteran Will Parks who was claimed off of waivers earlier this week.

They also have Elijah Benton on the practice squad. The other emergency option includes rookie Jason Pinnock out of Pittsburgh who can also play some safety although he has made his primary contributions as a cornerback.

That means there is a strong possibility that the two starting safeties on Sunday versus the Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t on the roster prior to Monday. The NFL is an adapt or die world and we’ll see how the Jets react to it.

The Jets opened the week as a 2.5 point favorite over the Jaguars, that was the first time they were a betting favorite in Vegas since Week 4 of the 2020 season when they faced the Denver Broncos.

Although considering all of the injuries and COVID situations the line has now shifted and it is an even line.

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